Tech News: Verizon iPhone “bloodbath” fails to take place

It hasn’t even been four weeks since MacDailyNews was breathlessly reporting that, according to a survey by an outfit called uSamp, a full 54% of Verizon Android and Blackberry users would dump their smartphones for an iPhone — not over the course of a year or two, but, according to the report — on “day one.”

MacDailyNews:  Bloodbath: 54% of Verizon’s Android, BlackBerry users likely to upgrade to iPhone on day one

The uSamp survey affirms initial reports of widespread defections from AT&T. According to the survey, more than a quarter of current AT&T customers (26 percent) intend to upgrade to Verizon’s iPhone on the day it becomes available. 26% percent of AT&T customers say they are “very likely” (8 percent) or “somewhat likely” (18 percent) to upgrade to Verizon’s iPhone on February 10.

A majority of Verizon’s current Android and BlackBerry users already have iPhone fever, reporting that they intend to head to Apple as soon as the iPhone hits the shelves: 54 percent are very likely (25 percent) or somewhat likely (29 percent) to upgrade to iPhone on February 10. Research in Motion, take note: fully two-thirds of Verizon’s BlackBerry users (66 percent) report they are very or somewhat likely to trade up to the iPhone that day, as are nearly half of its Android users (44 percent).

This observer (I work in the tech sector) was dubious, to say the least. Still… few have gone broke in recent years betting on Apple’s good fortune in the marketplace.

So, it was with some interest that I read the current headlines on Verizon’s iPhone sales. And the buzz is… there is no buzz.

NewsFactor Business Report: Leaked Figures Hint at Slow Verizon iPhone Sales

According to a confidential Boy Genius Report source, the first week of Verizon iPhone sales didn’t match analyst expectations. The report offers figures from five “very, very prominent Apple stores” over the first five days. The numbers reveal that AT&T iPhone 4 sales weren’t that far off Verizon iPhone sales on most days.

The sales breakdown from the handful of prominent Apple stores that Boy Genius Report’s source supplied showed that few of the new sales were AT&T iPhone users, with only 14% of Verizon’s iPhone sales coming from those switching from AT&T, and that Verizon’s online presales of iPhones was only 550,000 units, much less than anticipated.

NewsFactor quoted an industry analyst as cautioning that the information in the Boy Genius Report is based on a limited number of stores and further suggesting that winter weather combined with consumer interest in the upcoming release of a new iPhone model now postponed until mid-year may have held down sales.

Meanwhile,  the folks at MacDaily News — still breathless — appear to see the glass as well beyond half full:

Verizon Wireless CEO: We sold more iPhone 4s during launch than any other product ever; over 60% of sales occurred online

The MDN article suggested that the lack of throngs at Verizon stores —  widely noted in the tech press — was due to Verizon planning, a large percentage of online sales, and a planned, staggered release of the phone in different stores over the month of February.

MORE from Information Week: Verizon iPhone Sales Disappoint

Stand by for more on this story  in the days and weeks to come…


Agit-prop pop…

A first for the KS2 Problema blog, we think…

What if the new boss is worse than the old boss?

At this exciting and, in some ways, terrifying time of a convulsive, collective grasp for freedom from oppression and tyranny across much of the world, it’s important to remember that overthrowing a despot is only the beginning… what if the new boss is worse than the old? Zimbabwe’s failed revolution is a stark reminder:

From Wired, here are details on a Zimbabwean law professor and 44 of his pupils arrested for watching videos of the upheavals in North Africa:

Munyaradzi Gwisai, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s law school, was showing internet videos about the tumult sweeping across North Africa to students and activists last Saturday, when state security agents burst into his office.

The agents seized laptop computers, DVD discs and a video projector before arresting 45 people, including Gwisai, who runs the Labor Law Center at the University of Zimbabwe. All 45 have been charged with treason — which can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or death — for, in essence, watching viral videos.

Gwisai and five others were brutally tortured during the next 72 hours, he testified Thursday at an initial hearing.

There were “assaults all over the detainees’ bodies, under their feet and buttocks through the use of broomsticks, metal rods, pieces of timber, open palms and some blunt objects,” The Zimbabwean newspaper reports, in an account of the court proceedings.

Under dictator Robert Mugabe, watching internet videos in Zimbabwe can be a capital offense, it would seem. The videos included BBC World News and Al-Jazeera clips, which Gwisai had downloaded from Kubatana, a web-based activist group in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Prof Arrested, Tortured for Watching Viral Vids

One of the biggest problems facing a people suddenly thrust out of oppression is that they are often not prepared for sudden freedom — as we’ve so often seen over the centuries.

The American revolution probably avoided the bloody excesses of the French revolution because the English people had, for centuries, had some fundamental rights assured by the Magna Carta.

But even though some of the most developed thinkers of the enlightenment and the move to democracy were in France, the people had been wantonly oppressed by despotic kings who ruled capriciously, and treated their people like chattel.

The extremely oppressive, white supremacist regime left over from colonial days that ruled Zimbabwe when it was known as Rhodesia fought against any sort of improvement in the lot of the huge black majority, who were mired in poverty and had few rights in their own homeland. Rather than prepare the people for eventual democracy, the regime resisted educating or raising the level of social sophistication of the disenfranchised black majority in the vain hope they could remain in power — and wealth — forever.

So, when change finally came, the people were ill-prepared… the new bosses were black, led from the beginning in 1980, in large part by Robert Mugabe — who has maintained control of the nation through fear, cruelty, torture, murder, and turning various elements of Zimbabwean society against each other.

Indiana Deputy Attorney General urges using “live ammo” on Wisconsin protestors

AN Indiana Republican deputy attorney general using a Twitter account he apparently thought couldn’t be traced urged using live ammunition on pro-union protesters in nearby Wisconsin.

When questioned whether he was actually advocating deadly force against peaceful protesters, he said, “You’re damn right I advocate deadly force.”

Unfortunately for now-former Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox, one of the people who was reading his tweets works at progressive magazine Mother Jones and found that tracking down Mr. Cox was much easier than Cox might have imagined.

When confronted with the embarrassment of a law enforcement official urging summary execution for peaceful protesters, the Attorney General’s office decided to do the right thing and can Cox.

Cox was largely unrepentant, telling a TV station,  that while it might not have been “a good idea” to tweet his violent prescription for an end to the Wisconsin protests, he didn’t think public employees like himself should have to give up their free speech rights.

“I think we’re getting down a slippery slope here in terms of silencing people who disagree,” Cox said.

Tell that to the peaceful protesters he says he wanted to shoot.

Read more at the Washington Post.

Man killed at cockfight — by rooster

This writer will refrain from staking out obvious lessons from this story from the Bakersfield Californian:

A 35-year-old Lamont man died Sunday after being stabbed in the leg by a sharp blade that was attached to a fighting bird, authorities said.

Jose Luis Ochoa was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center shortly after Tulare County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a reported cockfight near in the intersection of Avenue 24 and Road 128, about three miles north of the Kern County line and west of Highway 99.

Ochoa was no stranger to the sport, reported the Californian:

Ochoa, for one, had participated in cockfighting before Sunday. Last year he paid $370 in fines after pleading no contest to one count of owning or training an animal for fighting, according to Kern County Superior Court records.

In comparison, Goodwin said, a bettors’ pot can reach $10,000 even in a relatively small cockfight.

“The money adds up fast, and that’s why we need strong penalties,” Goodwin said. “For a law to be a deterrent, the penalty has to be greater than the gain of breaking the law.”

While cockfighting is a felony in many nearby states, in California, it is only a misdemeanor.

California is an “attractive destination” to people involved in cockfighting, Goodwin said, especially considering nearby states like Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico punish the crime as a felony.

“We have seen a steady stream of activity in states with weaker laws,” Goodwin said.

UK based  London-based Daily Mail reported that a man in India was killed last month when a fighting cock slashed his throat.

Of course, normally, it is the animals that suffer and die for the pleasure and excitement of the humans who organize these events.



US Polling on Egypt turmoil offers interesting insights

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press seems to suggest that most Americans view President  Obama’s handling of the turmoil in Egypt about right.

But a closer look at how the numbers break down offers a fascinating — but limited — prism through which to view different aspects of the American political mindset.

First, and most striking, perhaps, to those who actually do pay attention — most Americans do not: 52% of respondents say they have heard little or nothing about the turmoil in Egypt, despite nearly round the clock coverage in the serious journalistic media.

Second, and rather fascinating is the breakdown of those agreeing and disagreeing with the president’s handling of the situation.

69% of Democrats and 57% of political independents believe the president is doing well.

But, of Republicans, only 43% give the president a favorable rating on his handling of the turmoil in Egypt.

Yet, when one looks at the disapproval figures for Republicans, something very interesting emerges: 19% feel the president shows too much support to those opposed to continued rule by the dictator — but 15% of Republicans feel he is showing too little support to them.

And those nearly balanced figures totalling 34% combined with the 43% of Republicans who approve, seem to suggest that the President’s current course is about the best he could hope for at pleasing Republicans.

More from the Los Angeles Times:,0,6672091.story



Survey has Obama topping Palin in Arizona fave ratings…

Arizona’s Republican credentials are pretty secure. It’s one of the most conservative states in the US.

But in recent polling by lib-leaning Public Policing Polling, Democratic President Barack Obama topped former GOP VP candidate Palin for President among Arizona voters, besting her by 49-41%.

“If you want a measure of how much Barack Obama’s stock has risen and how much
Sarah Palin’s has fallen in the wake of their reactions to the Arizona shooting this is a
good one,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Obama would not
only snag a rare Democratic win in Arizona if he got to match up with her, but he would
do so by a wide margin.”

Obama beats Palin in AZ, ties Gingrich, trails others narrowly [PDF]